It looks like California’s so-called assault weapon ban is numbered. A federal judge overturned the state’s law banning such weapons as a violation of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
From the Associated Press:
A federal judge Friday overturned California’s three-decade-old ban on assault weapons, ruling that it violates the constitutional right to bear arms.
U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez of San Diego ruled that the state’s definition of illegal military-style rifles unlawfully deprives law-abiding Californians of weapons commonly allowed in most other states and by the U.S. Supreme Court.
I agree with Judge Benitez
When states like my home state of California bans so-called “assault weapons,” they’re banning the country’s most popular, best-selling rifle, the AR-15. There’s a reason the AR-15 is popular. It’s a good rifle. It’s easy to shoot. Even with iron sights, it’s accurate. Plus, there are a plethora of accessories that can be added to the rifle you can do yourself at home.
Banning the country’s best-selling rifle is far too restrictive. Proponents of these bans argue that rifles like the AR-15 are used in most mass shootings. That’s actually not true. Most mass shootings in this country involve handguns, not rifles. Similarly, most gun deaths in this country involve handguns, not rifles. That’s because most gun deaths are the result of suicide. It’s more difficult to shoot yourself with a rifle than it is with a handgun. It can be done, sure, but it requires some planning and probably a Rube Goldberg-like device involving string and a pully or two. You’d probably have to go to Home Depot for supplies. By the time you did all that, chances are you changed your mind about going home to spend time with Jesus.
Handguns are much more spontaneous.
In 2019, the FBI reported there were 1,679 murders involving weapons in California. Here is a breakdown of the types of weapons used:
- Handguns: 762
- Unknown Firearm: 320
- Knives: 252
- Other Weapons: 183
- Hands, Feet, Fists, etc: 102
- Rifles: 34
- Shotguns: 26
Looking at the actual numbers, why is California fixated on banning rifles?
If California wanted to improve gun safety
If California and other states want to improve safety for citizens, they should set up a program where people can swap their handguns for an AR-15. It would remove the most dangerous type of firearm from the public and replace it with a much safer alternative. Additionally, it would improve public safety without infringing on the Bill of Rights.
I call that a win-win.